Whenever I listen to new music I like to plug my headphones in, sit back in my favorite chair, lie my head back and hopefully the music will soak into every fiber of my being. If the music is well crafted my mind will transport me back to the time where I was a young man living in the small town of Portland, Michigan at that point when the heaviest music I knew was my Dad’s Deep Purple “Machinehead” album. The rest of my parent’s music consisted of 60’s and 70’s soft rock and classic rock. Luckily in the early to mid 80’s I was exposed to a genre of music that I had no clue existed. A genre of music that hit me like a ton of bricks. This, my friends, happened to be heavy metal music that flowed through my ear holes. It was bands like Motörhead, Slayer, Metallica, Exodus, Venom etc. that shook my parents’ house’s foundation. After listening to Toxic Holocaust‘s “Chemistry of Consciousness” I can relive what it felt like for me to be excited about discovering a genre of music that would change my life forever.
“Chemistry of Consciousness” is the band’s fifth studio album, the followup to 2011’s “Conjure and Command.” Right away I can tell you that this album is a massive assault to the eardrums from start to finish. It consists of 28 minutes of thrash metal greatness. All 11 brutal tracks are under three minutes long which means they are sweet and to the point, thanks to the band’s vocalist, songwriter, guitarist, founder and mastermind, Joel Grind. Along with him are bassist Phil Zeller, aka Phil Gnaast, and drummer Nick Bellmore, aka Nikki Bellmore or Nicholas T. Rage. Together the trio deliver violent crushing riffs on songs such as ‘Awaken the Serpent’ and ‘Silence’. ‘Mkultra’ and ‘Salvation is waiting’ have memorable catchy grooves and loads of bad-ass hooks. The album is so powerful that when I was rocking out playing my air guitar to mid-tempo songs such as ‘Deny the Truth’, ‘I Serve’, and ‘International Conspiracy’ and then switched to the frantic pace of ‘Rat Eater’, ‘Chemistry of Consciousness’, and ‘Acid Fuzz’, it exploded into a million pieces. Joel Grind‘s vocals sound like his throat is lined with sandpaper, raw but surprisingly polished so you don’t have to go in search of a heavy metal interpreter.
So in this reviewers opinion, “Chemistry of Consciousness” is 11 tracks of thrash metal riff rioting. I had a blast listening to this album numerous times, and after each song was finished I had to to screw my head back on due to excessive head banging. I would personally like to thank Joel Grind for taking me down memory lane and reminding me why I love heavy metal. Unfortunately the only downside of “Chemistry of Consciousness” is now I have to go purchase a new air guitar and those can run on the expensive side. This is one of the must-have albums of 2013.